The first time I went to therapy I was in 18 or 19. My mom wanted me to go with her and talk about our “issues.” I went to make her happy and listened. I was not there willingly thus got not one thing from that visit. I hated every second I was in that office.
Other people that went to therapy. It always seemed like something for the rich to navel gaze thus it was not for me. I did not have the time nor the money.
My return to therapy was not by choice. It was court ordered. Yes, it was ordered by a judge as a condition of my court supervision. I had to attend and complete a therapy program. Why did I have court supervision? I was arrested for shoplifting. Yes, shoplifting. That is another story for another day but it was one of the best/worst things to happen to me.
Once again, I did not want to be there. However, I did not want to go to jail so I took the opportunity to participate and learn. The therapist told me I had anxiety that needed medication which meant another, different doctor in order to get the prescriptions. So, I went, met the new doctor and got the meds. I took the medication but was not sure it was working as I did not like how I was feeling. I was trying to hold it all together and keep everything all a secret from my kids and everyone else. I didn’t know if my anxiety was from keeping the secret, the shame of it all or from something else.
Continued appointments with the therapist led to her diagnosing the source of my anxiety and depression. It was my marriage.
Nope…..I was not talking about that. She did not have to go home and live in my house….I did. Thus, I was not discussing my marriage. I was in serious denial, terrified she would see right through me. Once I completed the program, I stopped taking the meds and going to therapy all together. None of it was working and being called “crazy” at home was making it worse. I went to back to court with certificate of completion and then moved on with my life….or so I thought.
My anxiety did not get better…it got worse. Much worse. I really thought I was going crazy. I was forgetting things and having to write down everything. The panic attacks in stores had only gotten worse. The mere thought of shopping and stores caused me to hyperventilate.
I secretly took a day off work and drove to an inpatient facility. I went though all the intake steps and met with 3 different doctors. I had wanted them to tell me that I was fine and overreacting. That did not happen. All suggested inpatient care. Nope….not happening. I was a mom and had a job. I could not do it. I drove away knowing I really needed help but was not courageous enough to get it…yet. I was so filled with shame and falling deeper into the rabbit hole of denial, shame and depression.
For the next few years, I used running to try to manage my ever growing anxiety and depression. I was literally trying to outrun my mental health issues. After filing for divorce, I was sinking fast. I was really falling apart. My lawyer told me that therapy was a non-negotiable. So I called 4 or 5 different therapists that specialized in divorce and anxiety, leaving messages for each one. Truth be told, I cried while leaving each message. I must have sounded like such a prize! Who wouldn’t want to take me on as a patient?!
One therapist called back. Funny enough, she had also been recommended by a friend. During that call, she talked me off the first ledge and we scheduled an appointment for later in the week.
I started meeting with her bi weekly. Yes, I sat on her couch 2 times a week and just cried most of the time. With her help I started to open up. I was literally coming apart at the seams, falling apart all over her office. I apologized at every appointment. It was a mess. I was a mess.
For each appointment I would show up with my boatload of emotional baggage that she would slowly help me unpack it. It was NOT fun. As a matter of fact, it sucked. I left each appointment feeling like I had run another marathon…just emotionally (instead of physically) worn out. I also left with homework I never wanted to do because it was WORK! However, this time I was ready to really do the work. This time I needed to do the work. My life depended on me doing the work.
I was finally ready to face the source of my anxiety and depression head on. She, just as the therapists before, told me what I had not wanted to hear before……the source of anxiety and depression was my marriage.
I learned the terms narcissism, narcissistic abuse, gaslighting, emotional abuse and how it all took a toll on my mental heath over the years. It is still work to overcome the triggers to regulate my anxiety and depression, but that is why I continue to attend therapy and do the work.
I am a huge advocate of therapy for anyone of any age. It takes time to find the right therapist and you have to be ready to do the work. You have to be ready to own your life and your choices but it is so worth it. Invest the time and energy in yourself and your mental health. You are worth it.


Yes, those are scars from when a trash can full of sandbags fell on my leg, but that is another story for another day.

“Um….are you ok?”
“Yes….thanks….I’m fine”
That is how the conversation with a the harbormaster went that afternoon.
“Mom….are you ok…..”
“Yes, honey…..I’m fine…..”
That was how the conversation with my 11 year old son went later than day.
“Is there anything else I can do for you? Are you ok?”
“I’m fine thanks….”
That is how the conversation went with the waitress later that evening.
I was fine….really I was sooooo fine.
I had been fine for over 20 years. Just fine. However, on that day….6 years ago, I decided that I didn’t want to be “fine” anymore. I deserved better and so did my kids.
That day was the first time that he screamed at me in public, called me stupid, worthless and a dumb bitch, because I could not back up the jet ski trailer next to the dock. Have you ever tried to backup an old school Suburban with a ‘rack’ (trailer) attached into the water….and you can’t SEE the rack? Yea…..easier to thread a needle on a rollercoaster! I was doing my best but it was not good enough, nor fast enough. Every one of the 4 docks was filled with people and he was screaming at me… front of them all….but more importantly, in front of our son. He had berated, teased and yelled at me for years but this was the first time around people other than our family and if I could have crawled deep into a hole, I would have. I was mortified.
The harbor master came to see if we ….I …..needed help. I was fine.
While my wasband secured the jet ski that was finally out of the water, my son sheepishly asked if I was ok. I was fine.
We went to dinner before heading home. After the wasband threw a fit because we could not sit in the bar area due to the fact that our son was under 21, we sat down and ordered. Nothing was good enough and the server steered clear of our table. When she brought the check, she looked me right in the eyes and asked if I was ok. I was fine.
But I was soooo far from fine. I was done.
I was done but I was not strong enough to really be done. That would take several more months….ok several years. I knew something was going on and I needed to figure out if it was me or him.
6 years, a messy divorce, and LOTS of therapy later, here I am. It is not lost on me that the photo above came up on my timehop yesterday….the same day that I became a Certified Professional Life Coach. So much have changed in those 6 years. I am now a badass at boundaries, I am stronger than I ever dreamed possible, and I am so much better than FINE.
My goal has always been to help others, especially women, live their best life….no one should live the life I lived. No one should be abused. No one should be treated as “less than.” No one should ever be just “fine.”
Are you “fine”? Do you want more for yourself and your life than ‘fine’? You deserve better! You deserve to live the life of your dreams! Reach out and connect. I am here to help.


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This morning I had a socially distant coffee date with an old friend. We sat down and dove right in like no time had passed. We didn’t talk about politics, masks, or pandemics. We talked about stress, anxiety and the current status of our mental health. We talked about feeling disconnected and not focused. We talked about how were each had been forgetful and feeling “lost”. We talked a lot about anxiety. Anxiousness over our own health, our current state of employment, our seemingly endless loss of control and structure. I have has many similar conversations with friends recently.
Anxiety is natural and normal for most people. It is a fleeting feeling that comes and goes. Most people can manage it. However, for some people it is more than a an occasional feeling. It is a constant feeling that rarely goes away. It is taking the smallest thing and catastrophizing it into something horrible.
During a regular day, we are busy and have little time to think of all these small things. We are too busy living life and moving from one things to another. We also are surrounded by people that redirect those anxious thoughts and helps us remain on course. Now, during this pandemic, we have slowed the pace. We are alone, or with the same people, at all times. We have more time to think and “navel gaze” about what worries us. This becomes the proverbial rabbit hole. We start to worry about something and with nothing but time, we start to travel down that rabbit hole. Once that spiral journey begins it is difficult to crawl back out on your own.
People are posting all sorts of wonderful parts of quarantine….family dinners, game nights, etc. but is that the reality? We will never know and we should not hold ourselves to that standard. People I have spoken with are so concerned about judgement. We have become a society that is quick to snap off a post or comment that is filled with judgement. Why? Does that make us feel better? More superior? More powerful?
Mental health is an issue that I am passionate about as it so important and yet so taboo. People like medical issues that fit neatly in a box and have a cure. They like things they know and can see. Mental health is not the same for everyone. It does not manifest itself in the same way with everyone and there is no clear course of treatment that is the same for everyone. Say ‘Cancer’ and people understand. Say ‘Mental Health’ and people not only don’t understand, they downplay it, saying you are “crazy”. This drives the issues further underground and often makes them worse. Knowing we are not alone and not being judged is so affirming in so many ways. Reaching out for help, sharing your troubles, makes you more vulnerable but it also makes you stronger. You learn and you grow. You get better.
Does it all happen over night? Nope it takes work…lots of work…with yourself, with a therapist and with your friends. You are not crazy or lazy or silly. You are a feeling person in a changing world that is in need a support. Find your support system. Find those people that you trust and can listen, helping you address those uncomfortable feelings. I guarantee you that you are not alone!
If you are not sure who to trust, reach out. I am here. I will create a non-judgemental space for you to express yourself and listen to you. I will allow you to be yourself and see yourself in the most real way. I will help you move from vulnerability to validation. Scary? Sure. But isn’t everything worthwhile scary at first?
I am here and together we move forward in the healthiest way possible.


Depression. Anxiety. Panic Attacks. PTSD. BiPolar. Substance Abuse. Mental Illness.
All things people do not talk about. They are like the new ‘C’ word. Whispered in conversation. Joked about.  Avoided all together.
All are real. All are deadly.
Physical illness is something people can see and “treat” so that seems to be more acceptable. Mental illness is not easily diagnosed or treated, nor is it “acceptable” so people often hide it, self medicate or just give in to it.
None of it is easy and all of it is embarrassing. It carries a horrible stigma of mental hospitals and crazy psych wards like we have seen in the movies (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, anyone?). But that is not the case any longer.
I have been treated for all of the above. I see a therapist regularly. I fought, and had to get a court order, for my children to attend therapy. They didn’t like it for a while but now? They are researching their own therapists in order to go back and get help.
I honestly do not know where I would be without my therapist. I have had 2 over the years. One that I walked away from as she told me my anxiety, panic attacks and depression were due to a horrible marriage. I knew it deep down but I also knew that opening that door would lead to a mess I was not capable of cleaning up even with the most trusted professional. I walked out of her office and thought I could stuff it all away forever. NOPE.
A year later, I really thought I was losing my mind. I secretly visited an inpatient facility and went through the entire intake process. It was recommended that I check in immediately as  they were concerned for my wellbeing…..but I walked away. No, honestly, I ran away as fast as I could…I didn’t want them to catch me! Opening that door ….nope. Not happening. No thank you. The mess had only gotten larger and more difficult to clean up.
I finally got to a place and found a person I could trust. She helped me open the door a little at a time and mopped up the mess as it spilled out of me. She allowed some light to enter back my life. And once I saw that light? I knew that there was no going back. I needed to help to maintain balance.
Mental illness does not have an easy fix. People self medicate daily to combat demons with all sorts of things like exercise, caffeine, drugs booze, food, gambling…you name it.   I know the struggle is real and that it is a day to day battle to keep the demons in check. They creep in sometimes and I fall down the rabbit hole…..sometimes I fall deeper than others. It is not pretty when that happens. It is hard for those who suffer to crawl out of that hole alone….I know it is hard for me sometimes. But on those days, I know that have seen the light before and I know it is out there somewhere….I just may  need help finding it. So check on your strong friends, the ones that you think have it all together. They may not tell you how weak they feel but that check in, that phone call, that text message….. it might save a life.